What would you expect when a dragon comes to play and sleep over?
Only the best-behaved dragon ever. This small green dragon and her sibling companions, a small, Black-presenting child and somewhat older Asian-presenting child, spend the day at the siblings’ house. A pattern in the text emerges. “When a dragon comes to” stay, play, eat, and get ready for bed, readers are asked to evaluate the dragon’s behavior. “At dinner, does a dragon slurp? / Or throw her food or moan or burp? / And does she spill food on the floor? / Or bang her spoon? Or bellow, ‘More!’?” Even the youngest listeners will soon know the answer and chime in. “Why, no! Dragons don’t do / that!” Then, in the text that follows, the dragon models good manners and helpful behavior. But even this dragon isn’t perfect. “[I]f she’s overtired or sad, / that’s when a dragon might turn bad.” Describing the dragon, and not her behavior, as “bad” for the sake of a rhyme is distressing, but the text also offers several suggestions to turn the dragon’s mood around. Beardshaw’s illustrations, largely in a saturated pastel palette, depict a cute, snubby-snouted, and not-at-all-scaly dragon, and they add quietly humorous details to enhance a calm but never boring read. Both concept and pattern are reminiscent of Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs…? series, but this title has a much more domesticated feel. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-21-inch double-page spreads viewed at 51% of actual size.)
A mostly compassionate primer on manners that also recognizes that no one, not even a dragon, is perfect.(Picture book. 3-5)